On a cool project never born

RSS  •  Permalink  •  Created 29 Jun 2014  •  Written by Alberto Pettarin

This is a brief and censored description of a cool project never born. RIP. All references are causal.

Imagine that a big Italian publisher (the name is immaterial for the purpose of this post) had the following:

  • a series of English Short Stories;
  • in text + audio recording of its reading by voice over professionals;
  • with the Italian translation and linguistic/cultural footnotes curated by a team of experts;
  • already published as EPUB 2 + separate MP3 files (so covers, supporting materials, etc. were already available in digital form);
  • sold without DRM, just a watermark;

and ReadBeyond saw the possibility of transforming them into EPUB 3 reflowable Audio-eBooks. Because, you know, we do great Audio-eBooks. And embedding the audio inside the EPUB container, synchronizing audio/text (= synchronous highlighting + tap-to-play) would have yielded a way better product than EPUB 2 + separate audio. Plus, consider that Menestrello app has special support for footnotes and translations, as I explained in a previous post, making it ideal for this project; and, of course, the EPUBs would have degraded gracefully on other reading systems (e.g., iBooks).

Blog Image 20140628-footnote.png
Blog Image 20140628-parallel.png

Do I really have to add that you will never see this project born, despite a no upfront costs (and no risks) offer from ReadBeyond?

UPDATE 2014-07-04: if you want to try yourself a bilingual EPUB 3 Audio-eBook, please visit this page.